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date: 22 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the literature on state campaigns and elections. Throughout the chapter the authors focus on a central question that frequently animates the study of campaigns and elections in the American states: do political institutions enhance or stymie voter turnout and electoral competition? They begin by considering studies that examine how electoral laws in general may affect voter turnout, electoral competition, and party and candidate strategies. They then assess whether more stringent campaign contribution limits and clean election laws might provide a greater incentive for potential candidates to challenge incumbents. In turn, they explore how primary systems, redistricting, term limits, and direct democracy may affect competition and turnout in the American states. They conclude with a discussion about lingering concerns over endogeneity when it comes to measuring the effect of political institutions on electoral competition and outcomes.

Keywords: campaigns, elections, campaign finance, electoral competition, voter turnout, institutions, political parties, candidates, election law, primary systems, redistricting, term limits, direct democracy

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